This menswear Fashion Week, designers have taken upon themselves to reexamine definitions of masculinity. Dior Men’s creative director, Kim Jones, however, opted to revisit Dior’s history and pay tribute to his predecessors. Celebrating his fifth year at the helm of the French fashion house, Jones looked back on the elements that have defined Dior’s essence and influence.
From New Look To New Wave
“Dior is an haute couture house: it is all about the clothes. At the heart of Dior is silhouette, shape, technique and fabrication of the very highest order,” Kim Jones prefaced in the notes of the Spring Summer 2024 show. As models emerged from trap doors lined up in the courtyard of École Militaire in Paris, the focus on savoir-faire and craftsmanship became evident. Tapping into Dior’s heritage as a womenswear brand, the collage of inspirations slowly came together as pieces of a puzzle.
Jones borrowed inspiration from the names that have shaped Dior over the years. Silhouettes were reminiscent of Yves Saint Laurent’s brief tenure at the French house while textiles, materials and embellishments nodded at Marc Bohan and Gianfranco Ferré. Naturally, there was also Jones’ own imprint of British tailoring and playful modernity — fundamentals he has exploited throughout his career.
The collection also reinterpreted Dior icons like the cannage and the Lady Dior bag, transmuting them into menswear staples and items such as polo shirts, crew neck tops, cardigans and loafers. Masculine and feminine elements melded together, particularly through colors and adornments like the Ronghua — velvet flowers — created by Chinese masters working closely with the Dior ateliers. Meanwhile, textile and material choices made for a galore of textures, where tweed, crystal embroideries and lightweight fabrics stood out.
Despite finding inspiration in the storied Dior heritage, Jones also brought inherently modern and trendy elements into the collection. Jumping into the neon craze thriving on the runways since last year, the color palette included bold chartreuse, aqua, neon green and hot pink. Also tapping into the latest runway trends, looks were styled with multiple layers of shirting and footwear veered on streetwear territory with chunky soles and emphasis on practicality.
Photos courtesy of Dior
Proving Dior’s cultural pull and unfading ability to adapt to the times, the front row was a star-studded affair that involved the likes of J Balvin, Aron Piper, Tom Daley, Jeremy O. Harris, Pharell and Maluma. Standout looks included Stranger Things’ star Caleb McLaughlin’s twist on the Canadian tuxedo, Felix Mallard’s neon green and black combo, as well as the Hadban brothers’ twinning looks with hints of neo-futurism.
From the front row, the new-generation of Dior Men’s ambassadors and house friends donned looks from the unreleased collection. South Korean star and Dior ambassador Cha Eunwoo, actor Park Salomon and mega stars Apo and Mile — recently appointed Dior ambassadors for Thailand — had first dibs on key runway looks that reflected the mood of the presentation.
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 23: Apo attends the Dior Homme Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 23, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Dior Homme)
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 23: Mile attends the Dior Homme Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 23, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Dior Homme)
Other notable Asian guests to the show were Japanese actor Ryoma Takeuchi and Chinese star Chen Feiyu (Arthur Chen). The first sported a modern suit paired up with a sheer top while the latest wore a long blue marine coat over a printed shirt and matching tailored pants.
Past and Future
In his five-year tenure at Dior Men, Kim Jones has reinvented Dior’s heritage, injecting pop culture power, leveraging collaborative efforts and importing savoir-faire from the brand’s womenswear branch. The creative director celebrated his fifth anniversary at Dior Men with a vibrant and well timed runway that adapted house codes and past references to the present day. Balancing modern tailoring and today’s streetwear affinities, the Spring Summer 2024 collection embodied everything the designer has stood for during his time at the French fashion house: the perfect harmony between past and future.
Interested in more Fashion Week coverage? Read everything about Pharell’s debut as Louis Vuitton creative director here.